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Category Archives: Rodgers-Richard

Victory at Sea is a 1950s television documentary series that chronicles the Pacific theater of World War II from the American perspective. Famed Broadway composer Richard Rodgers (South PacificThe King and IThe Sound of Music) composed 12 themes to form the basis of the series’s music.  Robert Russell Bennett is credited as orchestrator for the series (as he was for several Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals), but in reality he composed the bulk of the music for the 13-hour series using Rodgers’s themes as his basis.

The Austin Symphonic Band performs Victory at Sea:

Several Youtube excerpts of the Victory at Sea documentary.

victoryatseaonline.com

Music site at victoryatseaonline.com – has lengthy excerpts of the music with several of the main themes contained in Bennett’s Symphonic Scenario.

Victory at Sea on the Museum of Broadcast Communications website.

Victory at Sea on the Internet Movie Data Base.

Richard Rodgers biography on Wikipedia.

Robert Russell Bennett biography on Wikipedia.

The 2008 revival of South Pacific was a Broadway sensation.  The production won seven 2008 Tony awards (out of eleven nominations) and enjoyed great popular and critical support in its run at the Lincoln Center Theatre.  The musical tackles issues of racial prejudice against the backdrop of the American war effort in the South Pacific during World War II.

The original Broadway production premiered in 1950 and won all ten Tony Awards for which it was nominated.  It also received the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1950.  It was the fifth collaboration between composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.  They based their work on two short stories by James A. Michener from his book Tales from the South Pacific.

This video of Harry Connick Jr. introducing the 2008 Tony Award performance pretty much sums up the show’s cultural and musical value:

Now some other links:

Richard Rodgers biography on Wikipedia.

Oscar Hammerstein biography on Wikipedia.

Rodgers & Hammerstein on Wikipedia.

Arranger Robert Russell Bennett biography on Wikipedia.

South Pacific on Wikipedia

Broadway revival homepage

New York Times review of Broadway revival.

Finally, a bonus video: “Some Enchanted Evening” very convincingly performed on The View in 2008: